The History of Cash Registers

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

We’ve come a long way with payment technology. Before the advancement of payment systems, cashiers were still using a pen and a book keeping pad to keep track of transactions within the businesses.

An early mechanical cash register was invented by James Ritty in 1879.  He was particularly interested in stopping his employees from pilfering his profits. He created the machine using a tool that counted the revolutions of the propeller on a steamship. In 1884 a receipt roll was added to record sales transactions and for book keeping purposes and to further increase security from fraud and embezzlement. It was only in 1906 that inventor  Charles F. Kettering added an electric motor. The start of the evolution of Electronic Points of Sale.

When the UK faced decimalisation in 1971, cash registers grew in popularity. Henry Gross, seller and exporter of cash registers,  created a cash register which could switch currencies from £sd to £p so that retailers could easily change from one to the other on or after the change to decimalisation.

Over the decades from the 70s to present day we have seen the addition of barcode scanners, digital printed receipts, chip and pin machines and security devices to deactivate security tags. Point of sale terminals emerged in 1979, when Visa introduced the first electronic data capturing terminal.

In the same year magnetic stripes were added to credit cards for the first time. This allowed card information to be captured electronically and led to the development of payment terminals.

A few decades later, the self-service till was invented by David R Humble, The tills became popular in the 1990s. By 2013, there were over 200,000 in stores throughout the world. They are a lot more efficient and reduce overheads for businesses but many studies have suggested that consumers dislike using them and it has enabled situations for customers to be dishonest.

Cash registers have now become an all in one point of sale. EPOS systems have now revolutionised the way businesses keep track of their transactions and accountancy by providing more accurate and detailed book keeping.

EPOS systems provide Financial Accuracy, Speed and Efficiency, accountability and stock management to name a few.

Here at Yorkshire Payments we are focused on keeping up to date with payment technology. We have EPOS experts that can explain in detail the huge benefits to using EPOS and card machines.




We understand that many of you will be experiencing new and unexpected challenges during this difficult time and we are deeply committed to providing you with as much support as possible in this period of uncertainty.

We want to try and make our charges to you one less thing to worry about if you are amongst those most affected by COVID-19.

See how we can help, by clicking below to download our support booklet.